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Government officials won’t recommend the death penalty if they succeed in convicting Pfc. John Jodka III, one of eight Camp Pendleton based servicemen accused of murder, kidnapping and conspiracy in the April death of an Iraqi man, prosecutors said today, according to an Associated Press report.

The disclosure came during the first day of Jodka’s Article 32 hearing today at Camp Pendleton. It’s not yet clear whether the government will take the death penalty off the table for the six other Marines and one Navy medic who face the same charges, the AP reported.

During that hearing, Jane Siegel, Jodka’s attorney, argued that 16 statements made by Jodka and other Marines about the incident were “inflammatory,” could taint a potential jury pool of other Marines and shouldn’t be made public prior to an anticipated full court martial proceeding.

DANIEL STRUMPF

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